Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter has finally arrived

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
   The weather is cold! In the 30's during the day and the frost is settling in. We are working at getting all of the animals hunkered down to stay warm. This pigs are lined up in the barn yard in their cages with straw bales around them. The cows will be brought in from the field to the front barn yard this weekend. More straw was added in the chicken house and duck house. The sheep love the cold weather and want to go out every day no matter how cold it is. And, we are working on getting more firewood brought up.
   Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and is very unappreciated by many people. I notice some stores put out product for Halloween and then go right into Christmas, skipping Thanksgiving completely. I, however, am extremely thankful for so much in my life, that I can't imagine skipping Thanksgiving day. I live in a beautiful place, have fantastic family and friends, get to do the things I love in life, and am healthy. There are a lot more things I am thankful for, too many to list. And, I try to be very aware of all I am thankful for every day of the year, not just on one special day. Thanksgiving Day, however, means people all across the nation recognizing the need to give thanks. I'm thankful for this special day for that reason!
   Thanksgiving this year was a "traditional" day for us...with "traditional" food that is. Some years we have had five or six different kinds of soup, or quail, or mexican, or whatever fancy strikes the cook (Marty). This year we were given a very nice turkey from a farmer friend and paired it with all the traditional foods, such as stuffing (or "dressing" depending on your background), mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, pies of all sorts (including pumpkin), and on and on. Marty brined the turkey in a mix of salt, sugar, sage, and water overnight. Everything was delicious. And, we are still eating it!
   We also had the traditional Thanksgiving day festivities of Sam the big pig getting out and then having to be put in the barn on "lock down". And, then there was our last little turkey...Gimpy. She walked around and chipped at the cat and enjoyed being a Free turkey.
   Here's an interesting question I was asked on turkey hens gobble? Ours never have. They typically make a chip chip noise. Our tom turkey, before he died, would gobble and it sounded like he was laughing at us. But, our hens haven't. Our turkeys are Narragansette turkeys, a heritage breed. I'm hoping to get some more poults (baby turkeys) this year so Gimpy won't be alone.
   Gimpy likes to chip at Spunky, the cat, until it drives the cat nuts. Then Spunky will chase Gimpy and both will get in trouble for teasing each other. We aren't worried about Spunky catching the chickens or turkey as she grew up with them all. When she was little, they were much bigger than her, so she has a good respect for them.
   Something else I was asked...where does the wax for rutabagas come from and when during their harvest or shipping is it sprayed on? Good question. I understood it is a parafin, but I could be wrong. And, since it is used to keep them from drying out, I would think they would be sprayed soon after washed coming out of the field. I could be wrong about that also. It would be a good question to ask the big rutabaga growers. I'm glad that we can grow our own or have neighbors we can get them from, or even at the farmers market. That way we don't have to be concerned about the wax, what it is made from, and if it is safe for us. I suggest every one try to find a farmer market, local farmer, or...ask your grocery to see if they can get "unwaxed" rutabaga. That might start a trend toward them carrying them.
   And, here is something else fun about rutabaga. Two days after my Baga blog, I found a book in a used bookstore. It is titled "Rootabaga Stories" by Carl Sandburg and copyright in 1922. It is more of a children's book. The titles of the short stories are funny...such as "Five stories about the Potato Face Blind Man" and "Two stories about corn fairies, blue foxes, flongboos, and happenings that happened in the United States and Canada". Say what? I thought it would be some light reading this winter!
   That's the news for now.

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